LONDON (Feb. 1)
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain will play an active part in the British conferences on Palestine with Arabs and Jews opening next week, it was revealed today as lists of British and Jewish negotiators and details of the parleys were announced. Mr. Chamberlain will open the discussions next Tuesday by addressing separate meetings of the Arabs and Jews, which will be formal and well publicized. Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Jewish Agency, will reply for the Jews.
The actual discussions will probably not begin until Wednesday. It is reported that the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax will participate personally in the most important sessions. The British negotiators will include Foreign Office representatives, headed by Under-secretary Richard Austen Butler, experts of the Near East Department, Colonial Office representatives and non-official personalities.
The Jewish Agency negotiating committee will be headed by Dr. Weizmann and will include David Ben Gurion, chairman of the Agency’s Palestine Executive; Moshe Shertok, head of the political department; Prof. Selig Brodetsky, head of the political department of the Agency’s London Executive, and Dr. Nahum Goldmann, the Agency’s Geneva representative. Additions will be made from an advisory committee of 40.
The advisory committee includes three Americans — Mrs. Rose Jacobs, member of the Agency’s Jerusalem Executive and former president of Hadassah; Dr. Stephen S. Wise, vice-president and former president of the Zionist Organization of America, and Robert Szold, also a vice-president and former president of the Z.O.A. Other members of the advisory committee are: Britain — Lord Bearsted, Lord Reading, Neville Laski, James de Rothschild, Lionel Cohen, Sir Osmond d’Avigdor Goldsmith, Chief Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz, Prof. L.B. Namier, Dr. Jacob Rosenheim, Harry Sacher, Leonard Stein and the Rev. J.K. Goldbloom; France — Dr. B. Weill-Hall; Germany — Chief Rabbi Leo Baeck; Belgium — Prof, Herbert Speyer; Eastern Europe — Sholem Asch; South Africa, J. Janower. All members of the Jewish Agency Executive are automatically members of the advisory committee. A number of other names are expected to be added, including a representative of Palestine agricultural interests.
The Jewish Agency Executive held a closed meeting today to discuss procedure for the discussions. Agency representatives had conferred this afternoon with the Colonial Office secretariat on procedure.
Meanwhile, Colonial Secretary Malcolm MacDonald rejected in Commons a proposal by Vyvyan Adams, Conservative, that the Government admit 10,000 German Jewish children to Palestine against future quotas. Mr. MacDonald declared the entire question of future immigration to Palestine was one of the most important matters to be discussed at the conferences next week. “We cannot,” he said, “anticipate the result of the discussion.” In reply to a question by Geoffrey Mander, Liberal, Mr. MacDonald promised that the Government would bear in mind the possibility of raising the question of admitting the refugee children on humanitarian grounds.